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Gardening Tip of the Week: Keep a Garden Journal

Were the Snap Beans in the first or third row?  What soil mix did we use in that planter on the deck?  What was that fertilizer called!?!!?

gardening journal or log

A ready made garden journal

This week’s Gardening Tip is to keep a Garden Journal.  Every Gardener discovers new techniques and makes mistakes during each season.  Taking good notes is the surest way to remember those moments of inspiration and apply lessons learned in the next season.

Professional Greenhouse and production crop growers keep detailed records of as many variables in play during the growing season.  Detailed notes are at the root of the scientific method and one of the easiest things for the home gardener to pick up and apply to their own propagation. We carry a variety of pre-made books with forms ready to fill out but a simple 3 ring binder or bound notebook will suffice.

Every Gardener’s Journal should include at a minimum:

A record per planting which documents:

  • Type of Plant (Annual, Perennial, etc)
  • Species/Variety
  • Number Planted
  • Garden Plot/Yard location or Grid Area*
  • Planting Type (Seed, 4-pack, 3 gallon, etc)
  • Soil mixed used
  • Any fertilizer or root stimulator used at planting
  • Notes and What-to-do’s for that specific Variety

A record for every major change or action in the Garden, including but not limited to:

  • Rainfall
  • Fertilizer/Plant Food Application
  • Harvest times
  • Pruning



* Some Gardener’s like to map out their garden or landscape in a grid; either on tracing paper or the computer.  This allows accurate tracking of crop rotations or shade/light/water conditions from one season to the next.

Examples of Entry Pages from a pre-made journal:



Herbs entry page


Bulbs Entry Page

Bulbs Entry Page


Record Visits to other Gardens!

Record Visits to other Gardens!

Historical inspiration:

One of Virginia’s Favorite Gardener’s, Thomas Jefferson, was known for his daily record keeping.  Mr. Jefferson recorded the daily high and low temperature, wind speed and direction, rainfall, bird migration patterns and when his flora began to bloom!  Mr. Jefferson was so keen on his notebook, he kept up with the habit during his travels abroad.  For a detailed view and pictures of the real deal, check out


– Will

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